When activating your computer, which is part of your organization, you receive an error 0xC004C020, which says—The activation server reported that the Multiple Activation Key has exceeded its limit—the chances are that you need a new key. This post will guide you on why you get the error code and what you can do to resolve it.
0xC004C020, Activation Server reported that the Multiple Activation Key has exceeded its limit
While Retail keys can only be used once, and they can be transferred to a new computer, they cannot be used to activate multiple Windows systems. Instead, the organization uses what is called MAK or Multiple Activation keys to activate multiple computers with the same key.
The disadvantage of using MAK Keys is they can be used once, and they are set to activate a specific number of devices. The count is pre-configured as a deal between Microsoft and Enterprise. Every time a device is activated using MAK, the total count drops by one.
It is possible that your PC was formatted, and you have lost your previous key, or when the admin gave you the key to activate, it already had exceeded the limit on the number of activation.
You should call in your System admin to get this resolved. And if you are the system admin and believe that the limit didn’t cross, you can call Microsoft support to get this resolved.
MAK keys are usually used on server devices or on computers where the chances of formatting or resetting are low. They also cost a lot less compared to others because of the one-time activation feature, and hence the restriction on activation.
If you receive a key that you doubt, and need to figure out the type of key, then you can use the slmgr /dli command. It will reveal if it’s Retail, OEM, or KMS, or MAK keys.
I hope you resolve the 0xC004C020 Activation error.